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1984 Ford Aerostar

Tags: Concepts, 1984, Ford
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Ford Aerostar Concept, 1984
Images: Ford
Rating:  7    -2    +9
The sleek, aerodynamic Aerostar concept vehicle is a sneak preview of Ford's new mini-van, due out in 1985. The rear-drive van seats seven and has a one-ton payload. Ford predicts EPA mileage of up to 40 mpg, highway. Production Aerostar vans will closely resemble the concept vehicle, but they will differ in details such as grille and headlights.
Ford gave mini-van watchers a glimpse of the small van it plans for 1985 introduction when it unveiled the Aerostar concept vehicle recently. The company confirmed that the new van will be smaller, lighter, more aerodynamic, and more fuel efficient than Ford's present full-size van.

Two versions will be offered: a commercial van and a station-wagon type that seats seven in a two-two-three arrangement.

One of the more interesting chassis details is a rear-drive axle, which is contrary to the way Chrysler and some imports build their small vans. “Front- wheel drive has some drawbacks we wanted to avoid in our small van," says Phil Benton. Ford sales vice- president. “Aerostar is rated to carry a 2,000-pound load inside or to pull a trailer up to 5,000 pounds in weight."

Benton also points out the benefits to the driver of having the engine in front (in contrast to some imports): “We think some van buyers like the idea of having an engine ahead of them if there is an accident. Also, the driver and front-seat passenger do not have to climb over the front wheel wells to get into the cab, as in mid-engine [Toyota] and rear-engine [Volkswagen] vans.

‘Three engines will be offered: 2.3-liter (140-cu.-in.) four-cylinder and 2.6-liter (159-cu.-in.) V6 gasoline types and a turbo-diesel four. With a five-speed manual transmission, the four-cylinder gas engine is expected to deliver EPA fuel economy of 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

A four-speed automatic imported from Germany will be optional.

Aerostar is 174.9 inches long, with a 119-inch wheelbase. The long wheel- base is important for ride; it prevents the pitching that occurs when a stiff suspension is set in a short span. That's why Aerostar’s rear wheels are set so near the rear of the body.

Aerodynamics is stressed in the body shape, though the production Aerostar will be less dramatic in appearance than the concept vehicle.

Also, the production vehicle’s windows will be recessed slightly and not be completely flush as shown on the concept vehicle.

The shaped lens for the headlights will be foregone in favor of conventional rectangular lamps with almost fiat lenses. And look for the production grille to be more open for better engine cooling.

Ford will continue to produce its full-size van and sell it alongside the Aerostar. With that arrangement, the new van is expected to be priced below the full-size model.
Source: Popular Science (Apr 1984)
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